Unlocking Nature's Treasures: Nelson Mandela Bay's Green Flag Hiking Trails

13 May 2024
Unlocking Nature's Treasures: Nelson Mandela Bay's Green Flag Hiking Trails

Nestled within the breathtaking landscapes of Nelson Mandela Bay lie hidden gems awaiting discovery. The city's scenic hiking trails, long cherished by locals and visitors alike, have recently emerged as premier destinations for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Thanks to the visionary efforts of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Directorate (EDTA), these trails are undergoing a transformative journey to secure their place on the international stage.


Elevating Trail Experiences

Recognizing the untapped potential of these trails as unique tourism attractions, the EDTA embarked on a mission to position them as must-visit destinations. These trails, already popular among locals, lacked effective marketing strategies to attract domestic and international visitors. To address this gap, the EDTA initiated the process to secure Green Flag Trail accreditation, a prestigious international standard akin to the renowned Blue Flag Accreditation for beaches.


Benefits of Green Flag Trails

The Green Flag Trails accreditation promises a multitude of benefits for Nelson Mandela Bay. From enhanced marketing clout to increased destination attractiveness, the accreditation opens doors to new promotional platforms and opportunities. To complement this endeavor, the EDTA has developed updated promotional material for each hiking trail, ensuring they are showcased to their fullest potential across various online platforms and printed formats.


About Green Flag Trails

Green Flag Trails is an esteemed international standard for trail accreditation, designed to enhance public awareness and confidence in trails. By ensuring well-managed and environmentally responsible trails remain accessible for nature, recreation, and tourism, Green Flag Trails benefit local communities while preserving natural ecosystems. This accreditation provides valuable trail information, difficulty grading, skills assessment, and trail classification, essential for trail managers committed to responsible management.


Successful Accreditation of Eleven Hiking Trails

Through a collaborative effort with Public Health, EDTA has successfully assessed 11 hiking trails in Nelson Mandela Bay for Green Flag Trail status, all of which have been accredited. The municipality engaged local stakeholders involved in nature reserves, acknowledging their crucial role in this achievement. Special recognition is extended to private stakeholders at each trail, demonstrating a collective commitment to responsible trail management and community engagement.


Van Stadens Flower Festival - A Blooming Success


In celebration of this milestone, the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve hosted the launch of the Green Flag Trails on October 22, 2023. This unique nature reserve sets the stage for the Van Stadens Flower Festival, an annual event conceived to unlock further opportunities from the city’s green assets. Collaborating with various stakeholders, the festival aims to promote the city's nature reserves, biodiversity, create job opportunities, and attract more visitors. The 2nd edition of the festival is et for the 28th of Septemer 2024 with a portion of the proceeds that will be directed towards further reserve developments, ensuring the sustainability of these natural treasures.


As Nelson Mandela Bay embraces its role as a premier eco-tourism destination, the Green Flag Hiking Trails stand as testament to the city's commitment to responsible conservation and community empowerment. Join us on a journey of exploration and discovery, where nature's wonders await at every turn.


For more information on the 11 Hiking Trails, visit Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism’s website here: https://www.nmbt.co.za/green_flag_trails.html